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World-class public service

Implement best-practice productivity and digital capability in the NSW public sector. Drive public sector diversity by 2025 through: 

  • having 50% of senior leadership roles held by women 
  • increasing the number of Aboriginal people in senior leadership roles 
  • ensuring 5.6% of government sector roles are held by people with a disability. 
Young leaders

Why is this important?

NSW has a world class public service and our focus is to continue to work hard to drive improved outcomes for the people of NSW. To do this we need to adopt best practice and build a workforce of diverse people, which drives creativity and innovation. Having diverse leadership ensures that the NSW Government represents the community, giving us a deeper understanding of the communities we serve, and enabling us to deliver better outcomes. 

Research shows that by valuing workplace inclusion and diversity we see improved organisational performance, employee engagement, attraction and retention of talent and customer service.

Delivering this priority by 2025 will achieve parity for women in leadership, double the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in senior leadership roles over 10 years, and result in 10,000 more people employed with a disability across the NSW Government sector.  

How are we tracking?



We are well on track to double the number of Aboriginal senior leaders to 114 by 2025. For the first time since this target was announced the sector now has over 40% of senior leadership roles held by women. 

In 2019, the proportion of public sector employees who disclosed having a disability was stable at 2.5%. We are committed to supporting the sector to make the necessary changes to recruitment and workforce culture to meet the Premier’s Priority target. 

Download the World-class public service data information sheet (PDF, 176.65 KB)

What are we doing?

We worked with 3 clusters to trial interventions using behavioural insights to increase the proportion of women reapplying for senior roles in the NSW Government. Candidates who narrowly missed out on a senior role received an email and a phone call encouraging them to apply again. The results showed the likelihood of women reapplying for a senior role increased by 27%, and the gender gap between men and women reapplying for senior roles reduced significantly from 45% to 4%. When scaled up across the sector, these interventions could increase the proportion of women in senior roles by up to 0.5% each year and make a significant contribution to achieving equal gender representation in senior roles. 

In 2019 we piloted the Opendoors career sponsorship program. This 6-month program developed for NSW government connects highly influential senior leaders (sponsors) with diverse high achievers (sponsees). Through their sponsor, sponsees gain access to stretch, shadowing and networking opportunities to accelerate and advance their career.  

We are building a talent pipeline by attracting more Aboriginal people and creating career development opportunities. We are also supporting the continued leadership growth of our existing Aboriginal talent through the Leadership Academy Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Programs.   

We have developed a significant culture change campaign and a range of tools to support hiring managers and employees with a disability. 

We partnered with Specialisterne Australia to pilot a Tailored Talent program to attract autistic and neurodiverse talent into NSW Government agencies. The initiative has been set up to address skill shortages in hard to fill roles such as cyber-security, software testing, data analytics and coding. 

We are delivering tailored programs for senior executives across the sector, including the topics of digital transformation, reimagining service delivery, and leadership in the digital age. 

Human Centered Design (HCD) training is being rolled out, in collaboration with the NSW Transport Accelerator and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.  Regional project teams are working on designing services using tools and techniques that start with understanding of what works best for the customer.  

We have piloted a Digital Capability learning pathway that enables public servants to learn in-demand digital skills anywhere and anytime. It enables project teams from across NSW to gain skills that put the customer at the centre when implementing their projects.

What can you do?  

Work with us 

The NSW public sector has plenty of opportunities available across its various departments and agencies. No matter what your skills or background, if you’d like to make a real difference in shaping our state’s future, apply for a role with the NSW public sector.  

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